Transfer Tracker

Official: FC Dallas acquire Paul Arriola in MLS-record trade from DC United


  • DAL receive: Paul Arriola
  • DC receive: $2 million GAM, $300k GAM performance-based incentives, 30% sell-on clause

FC Dallas have acquired US men's national team winger Paul Arriola from D.C. United in a record-breaking trade, the clubs announced Wednesday.

The deal is worth $2 million in General Allocation Money up front, as well as a potential additional $300,000 GAM in performance-based incentives. DCU retain a 30% sell-on clause if Arriola is transferred outside of MLS.

Last week, first reported the agreement was in place and then being finalized on Tuesday.

Arriola, 26, made 89 MLS appearances with D.C. United as a Designated Player after being acquired from Liga MX's Club Tijuana in 2017. He had 20 goals and 16 assists with the Black-and-Red while becoming a USMNT mainstay, making 42 appearances to date. Arriola is currently with the USMNT preparing for three Concacaf World Cup qualifiers over the next week.

“To have a player like Paul Arriola come to FC Dallas is really an amazing thing,” FCD president Dan Hunt said in a release. “Very few players have a resume like he does at the age of 26. He’s also an incredible locker room guy. You don’t get to captain the US national team if you’re not of the highest caliber and a great professional who works hard and has the admiration of his teammates and the coaching staff. We’re thrilled to welcome Paul to Dallas.”

“We want to thank Paul for his commitment and service to the club since he arrived in 2017,” D.C. United general manager Lucy Rushton said in a release. “He has been an integral player for our team and has been a model professional both on and off the field. We wish him luck in the next chapter of his career in Dallas.”

Arriola reunites with FC Dallas head coach Nico Estevez, who was previously an assistant coach with the USMNT from 2019-21 before taking the MLS job this winter.

The winger adds to FCD's attacking core in the wake of striker Ricardo Pepi’s club-record transfer to German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg. Arriola, typically deployed on the right side, should fit snugly into Estevez’s preferred 4-3-3 formation alongside the likes of Jesus Ferreira, Jader Obrian and Szabolcs Schon. FCD also have DP striker Franco Jara.

As previously reported, Dallas are finalizing a club-record deal to sign Argentine attacker Alan Velasco as they reload for 2022.

“I’m super excited to be joining FC Dallas and starting a new journey with this club,” Arriola said in a release. “Coming to Dallas will be a great step in my career as it will continue to help me build towards my professional goals. I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and I can’t wait to get to work with my new teammates and staff.”

Arriola's departure continues a busy offseason for D.C. United, with previously reporting they're nearing a $7 million transfer (plus add-ons) of homegrown defender Kevin Paredes to VfL Wolfsburg. They've also been linked with a move for would-be DP striker Taxiarchis Fountas from Austrian side Rapid Wien.

The previous league record for guaranteed allocation money was set this winter when the New York Red Bulls acquired Lewis Morgan for $1.2 million GAM from Inter Miami CF. The previous highest total package of allocation money was Orlando City SC's signing of Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City, for a total of $1.6 million combined GAM and TAM (Targeted Allocation Money) after incentives were reached.

Arriola's trade is the eighth intra-MLS trade worth $1 million GAM or more since the summer, as a new trend in MLS continues. Kellyn Acosta, Jeremy Ebobisse, Alistair Johnston, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Maxime Crepeau, Kacper Przybylko and Morgan have all been traded within the league for hefty sums.